FAQ: Learn Python – Strings & Console Output – Access by Index



This community-built FAQ covers the “Access by Index” exercise in Codecademy’s lessons on Python.

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FAQ: Learn Python – Python Syntax – Review
FAQ: Learn Python – Python Syntax – Review

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6 posts were split to a new topic: How do I Use String Indexes?


A post was split to a new topic: Accesing by index


On line 13, assign the variable fifth_letter equal to the fifth letter of the string “MONTY”.

Remember that the fifth letter is not at index 5. Start counting your indices from zero.

This is what was asked.

This is what was on the right side, to put the code:

The string “PYTHON” has six characters,
numbered 0 to 5, as shown below:

| P | Y | T | H | O | N |
0 1 2 3 4 5

So if you wanted “Y”, you could just type
“PYTHON”[1] (always start counting from 0!)
fifth_letter =

print fifth_letter

This, i felt was not asking the same things.

i got the answer correctly “MONTY”[4]


what do you mean? That the example doesn’t match what is asked in the instructions?


Correct, I had the same issue. The example given: Notice that in the first “cat” example we are calling the 0th letter of “cat” and getting “c” in return. This is because in Python indices begin counting at 0. Therefore, in the string “cats”, the first letter, “c”, is at the 0th index and the last letter, “s”, is at the 3rd index. In this example they state that CATS would be C=0 A=1 T=2 and S=3. Then the question asks US to solve the fifth letter in the word MONTY. Following the same information given then the word MONTY should go as followed: M=0 O=1 N=2 T=3 and Y=4. MONTY does not have a fifth letter. Yet when you ask for a hint it tells you the letter you want is “y” which should be 4. There is no fifth letter yet it is asking to solve for the fifth letter. You can put in 4 and still get it correct but its still worded wrong.


fifth letter is using the human counting system, (so starting at one). So you have to do the conversion from 5th letter to 4th index.

if the instructions would have said: 5th index, yea, that would have been problematic.


Agreed, You have to read their instructions carefully, at first I was confused as well between letters and indexes.

Quick question - when and why do we need to access by index?
Why is it relevant?
When would I use it in python coding?
Seems to me logical that if I want a certain letter, I will just code print(“y”)


but what if its a word entered by the user? Or coming from the database?

these lessons teach a concept, and keep the example simple. You will see this more.